Group F Week 8 Pottery Data

The week 8 lab was a two-day lab event that involved the firing of basic pots in a two stage camp fire and then another day for the fire to be smothered. This experiment was conducted as a joint operation with group E and our data should therefore be near identical.

On the first day we built a small campfire and began warming the pots from outside the fire. The pots were slowly moved closer to the center of the fire in order to raise their temperature slowly. This was to try to minimize any heat shock for when they would be placed in an actual fire.

Initial Data

Standard ClayHeight (inch)Top Diameter (inch) Bottom Diameter (inch)Wall Thickness (Inch)Weight (g)
Pot 22.752.53.251.0313
Arb Clay
Pot 31.752.01.00.37577

Heating Timeline

Pot #Initial Temp (°C)+10 min+10 min+10 min+10 min *+10 min+10 min+10 min
* denotes when pots were stacked on coals and a second fire built around them. At certain points from now on some pots were obscured by fire and measurements could not be taken.

Some observations about the heating timeline:

Our initial fire was smaller than all others group’s fire and therefore the pots probably did not reach an appropriate temperature before stacking them in the second fire. However, I believe that we were the only station to not have any pots break before the second fire stage.

Results From the Firing.

Standard ClayHeight (inch)Top Diameter (inch) Bottom Diameter (inch)Wall Thickness (Inch)Weight (g)
Pot 1*2.753.753.00.25182
Pot 2*2.752.253.51.0210
Arb Clay
* indicate pots that underwent severe/noteworthy damage see below

Pot Condition After Firing

Pot #ColorCondition
1Black/Grey Flake from bottom broke off but vessel not critically compromised, cracked lip
2Light Grey Large bottom and side flakes missing but vessel not critically compromised
3Red/brown with some blackNo damage
4Red/brown with some blackNo damage

Some observations from pot results:

We only thoroughly observed four pots to follow through the entire process, but we had over 10 pots in our fire. We only had one pot that was unrecoverable, but all other pots were at least partially intact. Out of all the pots the Arb clay pots had significantly better results than the standard clay pots. Also, I was not the one who did the measurement for the pre- and post-firing but to me there seems to be about a +/-0.25 inch error. This could have been eliminated if the measurements were preformed with metric units instead.

Smothering Technique

We were assigned hay/straw as our smothering material. We utilized an entire bale of wet straw, but we were unable to fully smother the fire. When we returned the straw had been consumed by the fire. This is probably why we did not achieve the dark black color other groups achieved.

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